I Broke Up With My Therapist



I have the best therapist.

Seriously. The best.

Available 24 hours a day. Blessedly silent. Accepting of all my issues. And—most importantly—accepting of my desire to ignore all my issues. Seven dollars an hour, give or take.

Pure bliss.

But my therapist is making me sick.

Possibly because my therapist isn’t exactly human.

This is how it all plays out:

I do my day.

I make a million mistakes and feel many uncomfortable feelings about said mistakes.

I don’t know what to do with the many uncomfortable feelings.

I feel overwhelmed. Anxious. Alone.

So, when the house is hushed, I reach for a box of cereal and a cheerful polka-dotted ceramic bowl. I numbly stare as the sweet flakes fall, and feel strangely comforted as I drown them in vanilla almond milk. I focus on my rhythmic crunching, the ratio of oat clusters to flakes (always woefully small). Spoon to mouth, spoon to mouth. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat … until my mess is forgotten, or until I feel sick.

Unfortunately, it usually always ends with the latter.

Around midnight, I slowly crawl under my IKEA duvet, stomach churning in fury. I swear it’s yelling at me. As I pull the covers up, the wave of shame arrives right on cue. My tears feel hot on my lumpy pillow.

When I wake the next morning, I pull up my shirt and survey my still-swollen belly with disgust. My oblivious toddler bounces around me, chirping about wanting cereal for breakfast. I find myself wishing I didn’t feel so sick, so I could sit and have a bowl with him.

At night, it starts all over.

Messy feelings. Isolation. Spoon to mouth.

And repeat.

My therapy was exhausting me. Making me physically ill and emotionally wrecked. My attempt at numbing my mess with artificial flavours and sugar was getting out of control. I would get to the bottom of a box and have no recollection of consuming it. Not surprisingly, the feelings I was trying so desperately to bury would resurface the moment I swallowed the last spoonful.

So, last last night, belly heavy with guilt and shame and approximately eight servings of Honey Bunches of Oats, I wrote myself a note.

It felt awkward and pitiful and like a bad self-help book. But, apparently, that’s where I’m at.

Today will be hard. You will make mistakes and feel like a failure. You will be exhausted and discouraged. You will want to give up.

I want you to know you can do this. This is hard, but you are strong.

When those moments hit, cry if you need to, lock yourself in the bathroom, plunk the toddler in front of a show, write, pray  … do what you need to do.

But please, stop trying to eat your mess away, love. Because I’m so sick of feeling sick all the time. I’m worn out from all of numbing. I know you don’t want to face any of it: the postpartum depression, the stranger you see in the mirror. I get it.

But you can’t contain an avalanche with a few strategically placed pebbles. It won’t hold. It never will. And your babies will pay the price when it breaks.

I know you can do this. We will do it.

P.S. It might be time to find a real therapist.